The Druk Padma Karpo School is an educational establishment in Ladakh, India, providing quality education for boys and girls. The first intake of the school occurred in 2001 and today the school has upwards of 900 pupils aged between four and 16 years.
Druk Padma Karpo School is governed and owned by the Druk Padma Karpo Educational Society, a local non-governmental organisation in India, and backed by capital and funds raised by the Live to Love international NGO and English charity Drukpa Trust and partner organisation Drukpa UK. You can learn more about Drukpa UK in the PDF attachment to this post.
The Craniosacral Therapy Educational Trust, founded by Michael Kern, is an active supporter of the Druk Padma Karpo School, donating a percentage of annual profits to the cause each year.
Local and International Education
Druk Padma Karpo is an English medium school, delivering a comprehensive curriculum of academic subjects culminating in matriculation examinations taken at age 16. Students are provided with a solid foundation for further education which can lead to college or university. This school also has a solid grounding in Ladakhi culture and tradition, teaching life skills that can be utilised to help keep communities in family villages alive. Running parallel to academic learning are regular culture days, where students learn about the history of their home country through activities such as dance, cookery, textiles and art.
The rich Himalayan Buddhist cultural traditions of the local people are maintained and celebrated at the school, while also equipping the pupils for modern life. Druk Padma Karpo School maintains links with various international educational establishments, particularly in the United Kingdom, the United States and France.
Accessible Education for All
The premise of the school in Ladakh is to make education accessible for all. The monies raised internationally for Druk Padma Karpo School go towards a programme of sponsorship, facilitating access to education for even the poorest children in the area. Residential blocks ensure that children from remote villages who may otherwise be unable to attend school can also access a quality education.
Currently, around 40% of students at the school live in the purpose-built accommodation on campus during term time. Vocational opportunities are available as well as pure academics, with ongoing support for teacher training and a child-centred approach to education. The campus has onsite health facilities and offers children health education, while sustainability is promoted through work on cottage gardens located within the residential areas of campus.
Ladakhi culture is different to the rest of India and is heavily influenced by Tibetan traditions. A naturally joyous people by and large, the Ladakhi calendar is marked by frequent socio-religious festivals, where people gather to celebrate their culture and history through song, dance and sport.
The ancestral sport of Ladakh is archery, with competitive yet celebratory events held throughout the summer months. While the archery competitions themselves are conducted with strict etiquette, the prevailing atmosphere at these gathering is that of one big party. Song and dance interludes abound, and local communities dress up in their finest clothing to attend.
Polo is also a traditional summer sport. The prevalently Buddhist population of Ladakh are very spiritual and lamas are often asked to act as oracles or astrologers to predict auspicious dates for any major event.
This culture is protected and revered throughout the educational system at the Druk Padma Karpo School. In the infographic attachment, you can see some of the prestigious awards the school has won since first opening in 2001.